Yankee Coyotes

Interesting piece in Outdoor Life on Don Coyote in the northeastern U.S. Turns out canis latrans in the woods (and farms, and suburbs, and now even our largest cities) is a very different critter from the desert dwelling trickster (below) we know here in the Southwest.

So different that some people are questioning whether he’s a true coyote, a wolf or dog hybrid, or an entirely new species. Although he only arrived 60 years ago, the Down Easter coyote is larger, heavier and differently colored than the kin he left behind on the other side of the Mississippi. Whether he’s smarter is difficult to judge given the wildly different opportunities and challenges a coyote faces in Death Valley vs. Central Park. His conquest of the continent is a contemporary case study in the rapidity of successful evolutionary adaptation. If coyotes next develop opposable thumbs, we’re in trouble.

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